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And they're off to Wembley

Huge crowds waved off both Hull KR and Leeds Rhinos players today - both teams on their way to London for this weekend's Challenge Cup Final. In Hull it was a sea of red and white as players signed autographs and posed for pictures. James Webster went to soak up the atmosphere.

And there was a similar send off in Leeds as the Rhinos set off from Headingley in a bid to retain the trophy they won last year. Chris Dawkes was there.


Castleford Tigers suspend Justin Carney

Castleford have suspended Australian winger Justin Carney pending an internal investigation.

In a brief statement on the club's website, the Tigers say the 27-year-old Australian has been suspended with immediate effect.

"Castleford Tigers RLFC can confirm that Justin Carney has been suspended from the club with immediate effect, whilst an internal investigation is undertaken," the statement said. "Castleford Tigers will not be making any further comment at this time."

– Castleford Tigers

Carney has been a huge success since he joined the Super League club on a two-year contract from Sydney Roosters almost three years ago. The winger has scored 63 tries in 62 appearances despite serving five separate suspensions for foul play in his three seasons so far. He was in the Tigers team that lost to Leeds in the Challenge Cup final at Wembley 12 months ago.

Carney, who also played for Canberra Raiders, last year signed a new five-year deal with Castleford and recently expressed an interest in playing for England, for whom he qualifies under the residency rule later this year.

The announcement comes at a crucial time for the Tigers, who play third-placed Huddersfield in their next Super 8s match next Thursday needing a win to keep alive their hopes of a semi-final spot


Chris Powell becomes Football Foundation Ambassador

Credit: Football Foundation

Chris Powell has become an ambassador for the Football Foundation. The first-team manager of Huddersfield Town FC is a highly-respected and experienced figure in the game, with a glittering playing career with stints at Charlton Athletic FC, West Ham United FC and Leicester City FC, as well as earning five England caps under Sven Göran Eriksson. He also served as chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) for the last five years of his career.

‘‘I am delighted to become an Ambassador for the Football Foundation. It is fantastic charity that does an incredibly important job. “Investing in more quality community sports facilities means that more people get to enjoy the benefits of playing regular sport, purely for the love of it. It is also critical to encouraging more home-grown players to come through from the grassroots. “The Foundation has developed 15 years’ experience of directing facilities investment into where it is most needed and where it will have the biggest impact. It does not just give money and walk away – the Foundation ensures that the facilities are financially sustainable and are used to their full potential for years after they have been built. “The £1.3bn of grassroots projects that have been delivered by the Foundation since 2000 is a testament to what an effective charitable vehicle that its Funders have created and I’m delighted to support the cause.”

– Chris Powell
Credit: Football Foundation

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Chris’ on board as a Football Foundation Ambassador. As well as being a top player and manager, he has always been very popular and respected in the game. “To have Chris helping us get the message out about the positive impact that the Foundation’s investment of our Funders’ contributions is having on grassroots football, and the many other sports that benefit from Foundation funding, is a fantastic boost for us at the start of the new season!”

– Rory Carroll, Head of Communications at the Football Foundation

Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government (via Sport England), the Football Foundation is the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 13,000 grants worth more than £530m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £740m – meaning it has delivered nearly £1.3bn of grassroots investment.

South Yorkshire Indycar driver 'saved six lives'

Justin Wilson helped save six lives after he donated his organs following his death, it has been claimed.

The 37-year old former Formula One driver died after he was struck on the crash helmet by debris at an IndyCar race in Pennsylvania on Sunday. Wilson was airlifted to a nearby hospital after he was rendered unconscious following the incident at the Pocono Raceway, but the Sheffield-born racer succumbed to his injuries with his wife Julia at his bedside on Monday night.

Stefan Wilson, also a professional racing driver, first said his elder brother's organs would be donated in the wake of his death and now claims six people have already benefited from his actions.

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Reds' manager warns Everton ahead of second round clash

League One Barnsley entertain Premier League Everton at Oakwell on Wednesday night in the second round of the Capital One Cup. Barnsley fans will be particularly interested to see if the Everton line-up will feature either Mason Holgate - who was sold to the Toffees earlier this month - or John Stones, who also started his career at Oakwell and is now tipped for a big- money move to Chelsea. Reds' manager Lee Johnson is warning Everton that whoever they pick, they'd better be up for the fight.

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